Lately I’ve been keeping a close eye on my backyard. I’ve picked the first blackberries from the bush we planted just a few months ago, enjoyed some truly vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, and made schav borscht with freshly picked sorrel. A gray dove has built a nest under the eaves of my patio, and twice a day, morning and afternoon, I check to see if she is still there. She is as devoted a mother as any I have ever seen, sitting there hour after hour, without food or water from what I can tell. I’ve only seen the male come by once and he managed to stay for about three minutes, flying off before the female returned. I stood watch till she did, worried about crows and squirrels stealing the eggs.
So when I arrived at home this afternoon, I baked. Standing in the kitchen with a glass mixing bowl that belonged to my mother-in-law, slowly creaming together four basic ingredients, I made peanut butter and jelly cookies. I have house guests who arrived just in time to try them. David said he loves peanut butter and told me his wife Lauren makes him a PB&J sandwich every day. Exactly! Just like the sandwich, something about that combination makes you feel better, even on a sunless day.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies
2 cups natural chunky peanut butter
2 cups baker’s sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
some strawberry jam
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper but do not grease. In a large bowl mix all ingredients other than jam. Take small pieces of dough and roll into balls, and place on cookie sheet. Using the back of a spoon, gently press down on cookies. Then take the tip of the spoon and make a small indentation and fill with strawberry jam using a very tiny amount. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Yielded 60 cookies.
Note: I made some of them by just pressing down gently with a shot glass and sprinkling a tiny drop of sea salt on top. (no jam)